Realitos in 1887 was a lively place

The start of 1887 in Realitos saw the continuation of a building boom. The town was seen as growing into an important rail station. Among the businesses in town were three stores, three hotels and restaurants; two meat markets; and two barber shops, where one could get hair powdered “ala mode Americano.” F. Cadena and company of Concepcion was also mulling over moving their general merchandise store to Realitos and would do so by year’s end.

Ed Corkill, who the newspaper referred to as “the Hidalgo of the Mexicans,” directed the establishment of a public well. Many Realitos residents gave money and volunteered labor for the project. Water was found at 60 feet. The volunteers also cut and cleared all stumps and brush out of city limits. Also, completed was a dancing pavilion.


In 1888, Company D of the Texas Rangers was stationed in Realitos.

Not all was going well, however; the public school had to be closed due to a lack of funds. The teacher, Miss Rogers, returned to Corpus Christi.

P. Staples was named the new justice of the peace and postmaster in Realitos. Mr. Pugh, a young man from San Diego, was the new telegraph operator in town.

F. M. Rowe of San Antonio successfully installed horse power pumping machines on Bob Savage’s new well in Santa Latorina Pasture. Savage had been trying for three years to get water in his pasture. W. N. Staples and son finished baling hay from a pasture they had been working since the previous October.

Savage sold mercantile business to Staples. Reuben and Jeff Vining returned to Realotis after being off with horse stock for months. Stock looked good in spite of a recent drought. James Gibson of San Antonio was in town looking for fat stock. He reported there was plenty of stock in San Antonio but all was in poor condition and was selling for low prices. E. Corkill was rounding up cattle to drive up to the Indian Territory.

J. Corkill and Fyre Burke returned from stock trip to Beeville. Preparation was underway for shearing, and sheepmen were expecting the largest wool cut.

The Corpus Christi Caller reported the “American population” was getting ready to observe San Jacinto Day, “as all true Texans should.” A few months later, the newspaper also reported that the “Aztecs” were getting ready to celebrate “Saint Juan’s Day.” Residents expected to enjoy horse racing, cock fighting, and other pleasures on festival day.

By the end of the year, the public school had reopened and was making progress. Miss Laura Modd was the teacher, and she had 30 students.

Forrest L. Clark’s book Crosswinds of Duval County focuses much of its content on Realitos. You can get a copy of the book here:


15 Comments on "Realitos in 1887 was a lively place"

  1. My grandmother was from Realities, Her name was Olivia Hinojosa Garcia before marriage.

  2. My grandfather Narcisso Garcia son of a Pedro or Santos Garcia was born Realitos area. We are looking for his family roots. Please help us. We have all our ancestry books except his.

  3. Ercilia Guerra Ortiz | November 10, 2015 at 12:52 am | Reply

    My parents and Grandparents are from Realitos. We have a copy of the Texas Rangers with all 14 names.
    We still have family in Realitos.

  4. My paternal grandparents brought their family there in 1913.

  5. in the middle of the back row is Charles Fusselman, my great grandfathers brother.

  6. Oscar Hinojosa | November 10, 2015 at 4:31 am | Reply

    My dad (Severo Homero Hinojosa) grew up in the Realitos area.

  7. Forrest H. Clark | January 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Reply

    Thank you for mentioning my dad’s book, Crosswinds of Duval County. My sister reports that we had a few sales in November. As a youth I spent many weekends and summer days there playing with cousins, hunting and having a grand time for a country boy. It has long been a family tradition that Ernest Rogers, one of the rangers in the famous picture in your post was my uncle in law’s father, Ernest John Rogers who became Post Master in 1911. I have been unable to document a connection and have found no further mention of him as a Ranger. The Ranger Museum only has a record of when he was paid. Do you have any information on Ranger Ernest Rogers? Thanks again for promoting my dad’s book.

    • | January 2, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Reply

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the blog. There are many Rogers in my research but the only one that may be Ernest Rogers was a mention of a Sgt. Rogers with the Texas Rangers in 1888. No first name was included. There is also an E. J. Rogers, an Emmanuel Rogers, a Major L. M. Rogers, Sheriff Manuel Rogers and others. There is this reference: “Post Office in Realitos was situated in the E. J. Rogers store in 1910.” Hope this is helpful.

  8. Marianne Martinez | September 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Reply

    Hello Dr. Cardenas,
    My name is Marianne Martinez. My ancestors are from Duval County. I am on Ancestry and have traced them back to Mier Tamps Mexico. They settled in Duval County in the 1800’s. Mostly in Realitos, but also in Concepcion and San Diego. Their last names are: Martinez, Garcia, Hinojosa and Benavides. Maria Rafaela Hinojosa was my great, great grandmother and is buried in Concepcion. I am concerned about my ancestors who lived in Realitos. Thank you for any information or direction for research you can give me.

  9. Letisia Rendon | November 9, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Reply

    My Grandfather was Romulo Pena from Realitos as was my father Amador Pena born in 1922. I still have family there.

  10. Antonio Beltran Jr. | November 11, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Reply

    My grandfather Zaragosa Beltran, settled in Realitos, Texas and my father was born in Realitos, Texas in 1937. He attended school in Realitos until the 5th graded I believe. My grandfather married Juanita Gutierrez. We still have a few family members in Realitos, Texas. My grandfather worked as a vaquero back then.

  11. Angelita Benavidez Acosta | November 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Reply

    My name is Angelita Benavidez Acosta my grandfather was Leonadro Benavidez and his father was Aurelio Benavidez.

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